18 Mar 2011

Third government collapses in New Caledonia within a month

11:01 am on 18 March 2011

The anti-independence Caledonia Together Party, led by Philippe Gomes, has brought down the New Caledonia collegial government for the second time in two weeks.

An extraordinary session of the Congress reconfirmed six ministers of the anti-independence camp and five ministers of the pro-independence side.

Walter Zweifel has more

"The vote among the new ministers saw the anti-independence politician Harold Martin and the pro-independence side's Gilbert Tuyienon re-elected as president and vice-president. However, with the resignation of Caledonia Together, the collegial government has collapsed once more - the third such collapse in less than a month. The instability was triggered last month when the pro-independence ministers of the Caledonian Union resigned over Mr Gomes view that the territory should have a new flag and not settle for the suggestion to fly jointly the Kanak flag and the French tricolore. Caledonia Together wants to block the administration and thereby prompt Paris to call a general election three years early. Observers say France is unlikely to dissolve the provincial assemblies and the Congress as the territory can function with a caretaker administration."